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Employer-based health insurance covers fewer Americans
By Insure.com staff

The portion of Americans who got their health insurance from an employer continued to decline in 2011, according to Gallup and Healthways, which have been tracking the trend since 2008.

Last year, 44.6 percent of Americans had coverage through an employer. That compares to 45.8 percent in 2010 and 49.2 percent in 2008.

Meanwhile, more Americans were uninsured, with 17.1 percent having no health insurance in 2011, compared to 14.8 percent in 2008. Last year, about one-quarter of Americans were covered by government insurance programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and military and veterans benefits. That's about the same amount as 2010, and slightly above the 23.4 percent of Americans who had coverage through the government in 2008.

Researchers pointed to two factors driving up the percentage of uninsured Americans -- rising unemployment and under-employment and a decline in the number of employers offering health insurance.

Gallup said employer-based insurance declined from 2010 to 2011, regardless of whether Americans were employed full time, self-employed full time or working part time.

Among high-income Americans, 70.4 percent reported getting health insurance coverage through an employer. Just 23.7 percent of low-income Americans had employer-based coverage. Young adults and Hispanics were also less likely than most groups to get their health insurance from an employer.

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